(The Secret Supper - The Book of John the Evangelist)
Archive Notes from Gnosis.org
The Interrogatio Iohannis (The Questions of John) is one of the most important extant Cathar Scriptures and a major addition to the known Johannine literature. It is titled from the first words (incipit) of its text -- the complete Latin title is: "Interrogatio Iohannis apostoli et evangelistae in cena secreta regni coelorum de ordinatione mundi istius et de principe et de Adam." It has been variably titled in translations as "The Book of John the Evangelist" and "The Secret Supper" (Cena Secreta).
This scripture preserves a work from the Johannine tradition (the tradition of John the Beloved), a work with possible first source in an early period of Classical Gnosticism -- though the surviving versions certainly suggest an evolution during the centuries of transmission. It should not be dismissed as simply a "Cathar or Bogomil production" of medieval times (as M. R. James suggested in introduction to his 1924 translation, below). There are many core elements in the text that witness relationship with other surviving writings from the classical Christian Gnostic tradtion -- for example, compare it with the Acts of John.
Two versions of the text have survived: one was discovered in the archives of the Inquisition kept at the French town of Carcassonne in Languedoc, the other is found in the National Library of Vienna. The considerable differences between the two manuscripts indicate a long and independent manuscript history, probably reaching back centuries to an original edition.
According to an annotation in the Carcassone text, this is a Latin translation of an earlier manuscript brought to Italy (probably around 1190) from Bulgaria by Nazario, bishop of the Cathar community of Concorezzo (now the province of Monza and Brianza). From there it passed into Languedoc, arriving before 1209, the beginning year of the persecution of the Cathars of France by Pope Innocent III. The the original language of the Interrogatio Johannis was probably Slavonic or Greek.
It was first published in the seventeenth century by I. Benoist in his 1691 book, "Histoire et des Vaudois ou des Albigeois Barbets". It was analyzed in 1832 by J. K. Thilo in his "Codex apocryphus Novi Testaments," and again in 1929 by R. Reitzenstein in his "Die Vorgeschichte der christlichen Taufe". In 1924 it was translated by M. R. James in his classic work, The Apocryphal New Testament.
We present the text in two different translations:
- First, a translation based on the text in Walter L. Wakefield and Austin P. Evans, Heresies of the High Middle Ages (2nd ed., New York: Columbia University Press, 1991), p. 458ff. (and based on the translation of Reitzenstein in "Die Vorgeschichte der christlichen Taufe.") The version we give here contains minor corrections and some minor rephrasing of versification.
- Second, an older and less adequate translation from M. R. James, found in his classic work, The Apocryphal New Testament.
-- Lance S. Owens
(Titled in translation: The Secret Supper)
Based on: Walter L. Wakefield and Austin P. Evans
Heresies of the High Middle Ages (Columbia Univ. Press, 1991)
In the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
The questions of John, the apostle and evangelist, at a secret supper in the kingdom of heaven, about the governance of this world, about its ruler, and about Adam:
I, John, partner in tribulation so that I might be a partner in the kingdom of God, leaning on the breast of Jesus Christ our Lord at the supper, said to Him; "Lord, who shall betray Thee?" And the Lord said unto me: "He that shall have dipped his hand in the dish, into him shall Satan enter. He shall betray me."
I said, "Lord, before Satan fell, in what splendor did he attend the Father?" He said: "Among the virtues of heaven and at the throne of the Father invisible; he was regulator of all things and sat with my Father.' He [Satan] it was who presided over the virtues of the heavens and those who attended on the Father. His power descended from the heavens even unto hell, and arose even unto the throne of the Father invisible. He had wardship of those splendors which were above all the heavens. And he pondered, wishing to place his throne upon the clouds and to 'be like the Most High.'" When he had come down to lower air, he descried an angel seated upon the air, to whom he said, 'Open to me the portals of the air'; these the angels opened for him. And passing down, he descried an angel who guarded the waters, to whom he said, `Open to me the portals of the waters'; the angel opened them to him. And descending further, he found the whole earth covered with water; walking beneath this, he came upon two fish, lying upon the waters. These, indeed, were yoked together, and they bore up the whole earth at the bidding of the Father invisible. And passing down further still, he found great clouds holding the massed waters of the sea. And descending lower, he found his hell, which is the Gehenna of fire; but thereafter he was unable to go further down, because of the flame of the fire which was raging.
"Then Satan retraced his path, filling himself with evil plots. He ascended to the angel who was over the air and to the angel who was over the waters, and unto them said: 'All things are mine. If you hearken to me, I will place my throne over the clouds and I will be like the Most High." I will bear the waters up above this firmament and I will gather the other waters into wide seas." After that there shall not be water upon the face of the whole earth, and I shall reign with you forever and ever.' Thus he spoke to the angels. He ascended to the very heavens, even unto the third heaven, subverting the angels of the Father invisible, and saying to each of them, 'How much dost thou owe thy lord?' The first answered, 'A hundred barrels of oil.' He said to him, 'Take the bill and sit down and write fifty.' And he said to another, Now you, how much dost thou owe thy lord?' Who said, 'A hundred quarters of wheat.' To him he said, 'Take thy bill and sit down quickly and write eighty.' To the other heavens he ascended with like speech; he ascended even unto the fifth heaven, seducing the angels of the Father invisible.
"And a voice came from the throne of the Father, saying: 'What dost thou, O thou devoid of hope, subverting the angels of the Father? Contriver of sin, do quickly what thou hast planned.' Then the Father bade his angels, 'Take from all the angels who hearkened to him the garments, the thrones, and the crowns';" and these angels took the vestments, the thrones, and the crowns from all the angels who hearkened to him."
And once again I, John, questioned the Lord, saying, "When Satan fell, in what place did he dwell?" In answer He said to me: "Because of his self-exaltation, my Father decreed his transformation," withdrawing from him the light of His glory. The face of Satan was like an iron glowing from the fire, and the whole aspect of his countenance was like that of a man. . . . And he had seven tails with which he drew away the third part of the angels of God." He was cast out from before the throne of God and from the stewardship of heaven. Falling down from heaven, Satan could find no peace in this firmament, nor could those who were with him. And he besought the Father, saying: 'I have sinned. Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.' The Lord was moved with pity for him and gave him peace to do what he would until the seventh day."
"Then Satan took his seat above the firmament and gave command to the angel who was over the air and the angel who was over the waters, so that they raised two thirds of the waters high into the air. Of the remaining third they formed wide seas. The division of the waters was by command of the Father invisible. Again Satan bade the angel who was over the waters, 'Take a stand upon the two fish.' And the angel raised the earth upward with his head, and dry land appeared and was. . . . When he took a crown from the angel who was over the air, from half of it he made himself a throne; and when he took a crown from the angel who was over the waters, from half he made the light of the moon and from half the light of day. From precious stones he made fire, and from fire he made all the host of heaven and the stars, and from them he made angels, his ministering spirits, according to the plan of the Governor Most High. He also made thunder, rain, hail, and snow, and over these he set his ministering angels.
"He commanded the earth to bring forth all living things —animals, trees, and herbs. The sea he commanded to bring forth fish; and the air, birds of the heavens. And he pondered on making man to serve him; he took clay of the earth and made man like unto himself. And he then bade an angel of the second heaven to enter the body of clay. Of this body he took a part and made another body in the form of a woman" and bade an angel of the first heaven to enter into it. And the angels grieved deeply that they thus had a mortal form imposed upon them and that they now existed in different forms. And Satan bade them to perform the works of the flesh in their bodies of clay, but they did not know how to commit sin. The originator of sin accomplished his purpose by his seduction, in this way: He planted a paradise and set men therein and bade them not to eat of its fruits. The devil entered Paradise and planted a bed of reeds in the midst of Paradise; of his spittle he made a serpent and bade him remain in the reeds. Thus the devil concealed the knowledge of his deceit so that they would not perceive his treachery. He went in to them saying, 'Eat of all the fruit in Paradise, but of the fruit of good and evi1 eat not.' Thereafter the wicked devil, entering into the evil serpent, deceived the angel who was in the form of a woman and poured out upon her head a longing for sin," and Eve's desire was like a glowing oven. Forthwith, the devil in the form of the serpent came out of the reeds and sated his lust on her with the serpent's tail. That is why [the offspring] are called not sons of God but sons of the devil and sons of the serpent, fulfilling the diabolic desires of their father even unto the end of the world. After this, the devil poured out his longing upon the head of the angel who was in Adam; and [both angels] were affected by a lust for debauchery, together begetting children of the devil and of the serpent, until the consummation of the world."
 After that I, John, questioned the Lord, saying, "Why do men say that Adam and Eve were made by God and placed in Paradise to keep His commandments, and that for transgression of the Father's commandment they were delivered up unto death?" The Lord said unto me: "Hear, John, most beloved. Men are foolish who speak thus, for my Father did not, in transgression (in praevaricatione) of His own law, shape bodies of clay, but by the Holy Spirit made [only] all the virtues of heaven. These, however, for their sins and by their fall are found possessing bodies of clay and are delivered up to death."
 And still I, John, questioned the Lord, saying, "Lord, how did man have spiritual origin in a carnal body?" And the Lord said to me: "By their fall spirits of heaven entered the female body of clay and took on flesh from the lusts of the flesh and took on [spirit at the same time]. . . . Spirit is born of spirit and flesh of flesh; and thus the reign of Satan ceases not in this world."
[6 ] And I questioned the Lord, saying, "For how long will Satan have dominion in this world over the essences of men?" And the Lord replied, "My Father will permit him to reign seven days, that is, seven ages."
 Again I, John, questioned the Lord in this wise, "What will be the nature of this period [of seven ages]?" And He said to me: "From the time when the devil fell from the glory of the Father and desired his own glory, he took his seat among the clouds and sent forth his ministers, a searing fire, and ... in the land from Adam to Enoch. And he sent his minister to Enoch and translated him above the firmament and displayed to him his divine nature. He then commanded that he be given quill and ink. Seating himself, Enoch wrote seventy-six" books; these the devil bade him to take to earth. Enoch took the books and turned them over to his sons, and he taught them how to observe the form and place of sacrificial rites. This they did in such wise as to 'shut the kingdom of heaven against men.' ° And he [the devil] said to them, 'See you that I am god and there is no other god beside me.' Wherefore my Father sent me to this world to make manifest His name to men, that they might recognize the devil and his wickedness. But when Satan learned that I had come down to this world, he. sent his . gel to take Three pieces of wood These he gave to the prophet Moses for my crucifixion. This wood they have kept for me until the present. And he revealed to Moses his divinity and bade him give laws to the children of Israel and lead them, on dry ground through the midst of the sea.
"When my Father thought to send me to this earth, He sent before me His angel, she who is called Mary, my mother, that she might receive me through the Holy Spirit. And when I descended, I entered and came forth through her ear. Now Satan, the prince of this world, knew that I was come to seek and 'to save that which was lost'; and he sent his angel, the prophet Elijah, who baptized in water and was called John the Baptist." Now, Elijah asked the prince of this world how he might recognize me. And the devil said to him, 'Upon Whom thou shalt see the Holy Spirit descending as a dove, and remaining upon Him, He it is that baptizeth in the Holy Spirit and with fire.' John asked this because he did not know me, but the one who sent him to baptize in water, he revealed me. John himself gave testimony: 'I baptize in water unto penance, but He baptizes you with the Holy Spirit unto the remission of sins. He it is who is able to destroy and to save.' "
 And again I, John, questioned the Lord, "Can man be saved through the baptism [of John?" He replied:] "Without my baptism, with which I baptize unto the remission of sins, I affirm that no one can receive salvation in God. For I am the bread of life that came down from the seventh heaven, wherefore whoso eats my flesh and drinks my blood, these shall be called the children of God."
 I inquired of the Lord, "What is the meaning of your 'flesh' and your 'blood'?" To me the Lord answered: "Before the devil had fallen with all the angelic host of the Father, the angels in their prayers glorified my Father by repeating this prayer, 'Our Father who art in heaven.' This chant ascended to the throne of the Father; but the angels from the time of their fall could no longer glorify God in this prayer."
 And again I asked the Lord, "How is it that the whole world received the baptism of John, but Thine is not accepted by all?" The Lord replied to me: "That is because their works are evil and they come not to the light. The followers of John marry and are given in marriage, whereas my disciples marry not at all but remain as the angels of God in the heavenly kingdom."
 Then I said to Him, "If it is a sin to have knowledge of women, is it then unwise to marry?" And the Lord replied: "All men take not this word, but they to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who were born so from their mother's womb; and there are eunuchs who were made so by men; and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven."
 Afterward, I questioned the Lord about the Day of Judgment, "What shall be the sign of Thy coming?" In reply He said: "When the number of the just shall equal the number of those crowned [angels] who fell. Then shall Satan, raging mightily, be 'loosed out of his prison.' He shall war upon. the just, who shall cry out to the Lord their God; forthwith the Lord God shall command the archangel to sound his trumpet, and the voice of the archangel shall go forth from the heavens and be heard even unto the nether regions. Then 'the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from' heaven.' And there shall be loosed from their foundations the four great winds; the earth, the sea, the mountains, and the hills shall tremble together. Then shall be revealed the sign of the Son, and all tribes of earth shall mourn. Immediately the heaven shall tremble and be darkened, the sun shall shine until the ninth hour. Then shall the Son of man be shown forth in his glory, and all the saints and angels with Him; they shall place their seats above the clouds. And He shall sit upon the seat of His glory, with the twelve apostles upon their twelve seats of glory. The books shall be opened, and all the peoples of the earth shall be judged." 'Then shall the faith be proclaimed. Then shall the Son of man send forth His angels. They shall gather His elect from the heights even to the uttermost limits of the heavens and shall bring them, gathered into their fold, to me above the clouds, into the air." Then shall the Son of God send forth the evil demons and expel them in His wrath, together with all peoples (linguas) who believed in him [Satan] . . . who said, 'Let us eat, drink, and lay hold on the things of this world'; and let us see what manner of aid they shall have from those things. Forthwith all peoples shall stand in fear before the judgment [throne]. The two books shall be opened and they shall lay bare all peoples with their teaching; they shall glorify the just for their sufferings joined with good works. Glory and boundless honor shall be the reward of those who have cherished the angelic life; while the portion of the servants of iniquity shall be wrath, fury, distress, and displeasure. And the Son of man shall separate His just from the company of sinners and shall say to them, 'Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world'; while to the sinful He shall say, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels.' Others shall witness the final division and 'the wicked shall be turned into hell.' By the indulgence of my Father the unbelieving spirits shall at length withdraw from prison; 'they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.'
"Then, by permission of my Father, gloomy darkness shall spread over the lower regions of the earth and a hell of fire shall burn all the land from its lowest depths even unto the air of the firmament." And the Lord shall be [supreme] in the firmament even unto the nether regions of the earth. Should a man of thirty years pick up a stone and let it drop, it would scarcely strike the bottom within the space of three years, so great is the depth of the pool of fire wherein dwell the sinners. Then Satan shall be bound and all his host, and he shall be cast into the pool of fire. The Son of God, with his elect, shall walk above the firmament; and He shall shut up the devil, binding him with unbreakable bonds, with sinners weeping, wailing, and crying out 'Swallow us up, land, hide us within thyself.' Then shall the just shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. And Jesus shall lead them before the throne of the Father invisible and shall say to the Father, 'Behold, I and my children, whom God hath given me. Just Father, the world hath not known Thee, but I have known Thee in truth because Thou hast sent me.' And then the Father will reply to His Son, saying, 'My beloved Son, sit on my right hand, until I make thy enemies thy footstool -- thy enemies, who have denied me and said, "We are gods, and there is no other god beside us"; who killed your prophets and persecuted your just. You shall persecute them in the exterior darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
"And then the Son of God shall sit on the right hand of his Father, and the Father shall command His angels that they minister unto them [the just]; and He shall place them in the choir of angels and clothe them in imperishable raiment; and He shall give them crowns never fading and seats unmoving. And God shall be in their midst. 'They shall no more hunger nor thirst; neither shall the sun fall on them, nor any heat. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.' And [the Son] shall reign with his Holy Father, and his reign shall endure forevermore."
[Endnote added to manuscript:]
This is the Secret of the heretics of Concorrezzo, brought from Bulgaria by Nazarials, their bishop. It is full of errors.
(Titled in translation: The Book of John the Evangelist)
From: "The Apocryphal New Testament"
M. R. James -- Translation and Notes
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924
[Interrogatio Iohannis apostoli et evangelistae in cena secreta regni coelorum de ordinatione mundi istius et de principe et de Adam.]
Reprinted by Thilo from I. Benoist's Histoire des Albigeois, &c., Paris, 196, T. 1, 283-96. Dollinger in his Beitrage zur mittelalter-lichen Sektengeschichte, vol. ii, printed another text from a fourteenth-century manuscript at Vienna. I have not given the variants. Thilo's reprint is followed. The Vienna MS. is rather imperfect at the end. Benoist derived his text from the Archives of the Inquisition at Carcassonne. The manuscript of it had this annotation in Latin:
'This is the secret book of the heretics of Concoreze, brought from Bulgaria by their bishop Nazarius; full of errors.'
This Nazarius was examined by Rainer (Contra Waldenses, vi: printed in Bibl. Patr. max. xxv. 271). He said that the Blessed Virgin was an angel and that Christ did not take upon him a human nature but an angelic or heavenly one: and that he had this erroneous teaching from a bishop and elder son of the church of Bulgaria almost sixty years since.
The book is a Bogomile production, denying that the world was made by God, and attributing creation to the devil. Catholic Christians are disciples of John Baptist: baptism has no value, nor, probably the Eucharist: but the statement about this has dropped out of the text. The law of sacrifices (promulgated by Enoch) and the Mosaic law are works of the devil.
The account of the Last Judgement, I agree with Thilo, seems too orthodox and conventional to square with the rest of the book: one suspects dilution from another source. In its Latin dress the book can hardly be older than the twelfth century. The original might be of the sixth or seventh.
I, John, your brother and partaker in tribulation, and that shall be also a partaker in the kingdom of heaven, when I lay upon breast of our Lord Jesus Christ and said unto him:
Lord, who is he that shall betray thee [and] he answered and said: He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish: then Satan entered unto him and he sought how he might betray me.
And I said: Lord, before Satan fell, in what glory abode he with thy Father.
And he said unto me: In such glory was he that he commanded the powers of the heavens: but I sat with my Father, and he did order all the followers of the Father, and went down from heaven unto the deep and ascended up out of the deep unto the throne of the invisible Father. And he saw the glory of him that moveth the heavens, and he thought to set his seat above the clouds of heaven and desired to be like unto the Most High.
And when he had descended into the air, he said unto the angel of the air: Open unto me the gates of the air. And he opened them unto him. And he sought to go further downward and found the angel which held the waters, and said unto him: Open unto me the gates of the waters. And he opened to him. And he passed through and found all the face of the earth covered with waters. And he passed through beneath the earth and found two fishes lying upon the waters, and they were as oxen yoked for ploughing, holding the whole earth by the commandment of the invisible Father, from the west even unto the sunrising. And when he had gone down he found clouds hanging which held the waters of the sea. And he went down yet further and found hell, that is the gehenna of fire and thereafter he could go down no further because of the flame of the burning fire. And Satan returned back and filled up (passed over again) the paths and entered in unto the angel of the air and to him that was over the waters, and said unto them: All these things are mine: if ye will hearken unto me, I will set my seat in the clouds and be like the Most High, and I will take the waters from this upper firmament and gather together the other parts (places) of the sea, and thereafter there shall be no water upon the face of all the earth, and I will reign with you world without end.
And when he had said thus unto the angels, he went up unto the other angels, even unto the fifth heaven, and thus spake he unto each of them: How much owest thou unto thy lord He said: An hundred measures (cors) of wheat. And he said unto him: Take pen and ink and write sixty. And unto others he said: And thou, how much owest thou unto thy lord and he answered: An hundred jars of oil. And he said: Sit down and write fifty. And as he went up through all the heavens he said thus, even unto the fifth heaven, seducing the angels of the invisible Father. And there came forth a voice out of the throne of the Father, saying: What doest thou, O denier of the Father, seducing the angels doer of iniquity, that thou hast devised do quickly.
Then the Father commanded his angels, saying: Take away their garments. And the angels took away their garments and their thrones and their crowns from all the angels that hearkened unto him.
And I asked of the Lord: When Satan fell, in what place dwelt he? And he answered me: My Father changed his appearance because of his pride, and the light was taken from him, and his face became like unto heated iron, and his face became wholly like that of a man: and he drew with his tail the third part of the angels of God, and was cast out from the seat of God and from the stewardship of the heavens. And Satan came down into this firmament, and he could find (make) no rest for himself nor for them that were with him. And he asked the Father saying: Have patience with me and I will pay thee all. And the Father had mercy on him and gave him rest and them that were with him, as much as they would even unto seven days.
And so sat he in the firmament and commanded the angel that was over the air and him that was over the waters, and they raised the earth up and it appeared dry: and he took the crown of the angel that was over the waters, and of the half thereof he made the light of the moon and of the half the light of the stars: and of the precious stones he made all the hosts of the stars.
And thereafter he made the angels his ministers according to the order of the form of the Most High, and by the commandment of the invisible Father he made thunder, rain, hail, and snow.
And he sent forth angels to be ministers over them. And he commanded the earth to bring forth every beast for food (fatling), and every creeping thing, and trees and herbs: and he commanded the sea to bring forth fishes, and the fowls of the heaven.
And he devised furthermore and made man in his likeness, and commanded the (or an) angel of the third heaven to enter into the body of clay. And he took thereof and made another body in the form of a woman, and commanded the (or an) angel of the second heaven to enter into the body of the woman. But the angel lamented when they beheld a mortal shape upon them and that they were unlike in shape. And he commanded them to do the deed of the flesh in the bodies of clay, and they knew not how to commit sin.
Then did the contriver of evil devise in his mind to make paradise, and he brought the man and woman into it. And he Commanded to bring a reed, and the devil planted it in the midst of paradise, and so did the wicked devil hide his device that they knew not his deceit. And he came in and spake unto them, saying: Of every fruit which is in paradise eat ye, but of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil eat not. Notwithstanding, the devil entered into a wicked serpent and seduced the angel that was in the form of the woman, and he wrought his lust with Eve in the Song of the serpent. And therefore are they called sons of the devil and sons of the serpent that do the lust of the devil their father, even unto the end of this world. And again the devil poured out upon the angel that was in Adam the poison of his lust, and it begetteth the sons of the serpent and the sons of the devil even unto the end of this world.
And after that I, John, asked of the Lord, saying: How say men that Adam and Eve were created by God and set in paradise to keep the commandments of the Father, and were delivered unto death And the Lord said to me: Hearken, John, beloved of my Father; foolish men say thus in their deceitfulness that my Father made bodies of clay: but by the Holy Ghost made he all the powers of the heavens, and holy ones were found having bodies of clay because of their transgression, and therefore were delivered unto death.
And again I, John, asked the Lord: How beginneth a man to be in the Spirit (to have a spirit) in a body of flesh And the Lord said unto me: Certain of the angels which fell do enter unto the bodies of women, and receive flesh from the lust of the flesh, and so is a spirit born of spirit, and flesh of flesh, and so is the kingdom of Satan accomplished in this world and among all nations.
And he said to me: My Father hath suffered him to reign seven days, which are seven ages.
And I asked the Lord and said: What shall be in that time And he said to me: From the time when the devil fell from the glory of the Father and (lost) his own glory, he sat upon the clouds, and sent his ministers, even angels flaming with fire, unto men from Adam even unto Henoch his servant. And he raised up Henoch upon the firmament and showed him his godhead and commanded pen and ink to be given him: and he sat down and wrote threescore and seven books. And he commanded that he should take them to the earth and deliver them unto his sons. And Henoch let his books down upon the earth and delivered them unto his sons, and began to teach them to perform the custom of sacrifice, and unrighteous mysteries, and so did he hide the kingdom of heaven from men. And he said unto them: Behold that I am your god and beside me is none other god. And therefore did my Father send me into the world that I might make it known unto men, that they might know the evil device of the devil.
And then when he perceived that I had come down out of heaven into the world, he sent an angel and took of three sorts of wood and gave them unto Moses that I might be crucified, and now are they reserved for me. But then (now) did the devil proclaim unto him (Moses) his godhead, and unto his people, and commanded a law to be given unto the children of Israel, and brought them out through the midst of the sea which was dried up.
When my Father thought to send me into the world, he sent his angel before me, by name Mary, to receive me. And I when I came down entered in by the ear and came forth by the ear.
And Satan the prince of this world perceived that I was come to seek and save them that were lost, and sent his angel, even Helias the prophet, baptizing with water: who is called John the Baptist. And Helias asked the prince of this world: How can I know him Then his lord said: On whom soever thou shalt see the spirit descending like a dove and resting upon him, he it is that baptizeth with the Holy Ghost unto forgiveness of sins: thou wilt be able to destroy him and to save. And again I, John, asked the Lord: Can a man be saved by the baptism of John without thy baptism And the Lord answered: Unless I have baptized him unto forgiveness of sins, by the baptism of water can no man see the kingdom of heaven: for I am the bread of life that came down from the seventh heaven and they that eat my flesh and drink my blood, they shall be called the sons of God.
And I asked the Lord and said: What meaneth it, to eat my flesh and drink my blood (An answer and question seem to have fallen out.) And the Lord said unto me: Before the falling of the devil with all his host from the glory of the Father [in prayer], they did glorify the Father in their prayers thus, saying: Our Father, which art in heaven; and so did all their songs come up before the throne of the Father. But when they had fallen, after that they are not able to glorify God with that prayer.
And I asked the Lord: How do all men receive the baptism of John, but thine not at all And the Lord answered: Because their deeds are evil and they come not unto the light.
The disciples of John marry and are given in marriage; but my disciples neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. But I said: If, then, it be sin to have to do with a woman, it is not good to marry. And the Lord said unto me: Not every one can receive this saying (&c., Matt. xix.11, 12).
I asked the Lord concerning the day of judgement: What shall be the sign of thy coming And he answered and said unto me: When the numbers of the righteous shall be accomplished that is, the number of the righteous that are crowned, that have fallen, then shall Satan be loosed out of his prison, having great wrath, and shall make war with the righteous, and they shall cry unto the Lord with a loud voice. And immediately the Lord shall command an angel to blow with the trumpet, and the voice of the archangel shall be heard in the trumpet from heaven even unto hell.
And then shall the sun be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall, and the four winds shall be loosed from their foundations, and shall cause the earth and the sea and the mountains to quake together. And the heaven shall immediately shake and the sun shall be darkened, and it shall shine even to the fourth hour. Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man, and all the holy angels with him, and he shall set his seat upon the clouds, and sit on the throne of his majesty with the twelve apostles on the twelve seats of their glory. And the books shall be opened and he shall judge the whole world and the faith which he proclaimed. And then shall the Son of man send his angels, and they shall gather his elect from the four winds from the heights of the heavens unto the boundaries of them, and shall bring them to seek.
Then shall the Son of God send the evil spirits, to bring all nations before him, and shall say unto them: Come, ye that did say: We have eaten and drunk and received the gain of this world. And after that they shall again be brought, and shall all stand before the judgement seat, even all nations, in fear. And the books of life shall be opened and all nations shall show forth their ungodliness. And he shall glorify the righteous for their patience: and glory and honour and incorruption shall be the reward of their good works: but as for them that kept the commandments of the angels and obeyed unrighteously, indignation and trouble and anguish shall take hold on then.
And the Son of God shall bring forth the elect out of the midst of the sinners and say unto them: Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Then shall he say unto the sinners: Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels. And the rest, beholding the last cutting off, shall cast the sinners into hell by the commandment of the invisible Father. Then shall the spirits of them that believe not go forth out of the prisons, and then shall my voice be heard, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd: and the darkness and obscurity shall come forth out of the lower parts of the earth -that is to say, the darkness of the gehenna of fire- and shall burn all things from below even to the air of the firmament. And the Lord shall be in the firmament and even to the lower parts of the earth. (read And the distance from the firmament unto the lower parts of the earth shall be) as if a man of thirty years old should take up a stone and cast it down, hardly in three years would it reach the bottom: so great is the depth of the pit and of the fire wherein the sinners shall dwell. And then shall Satan and all his host be bound and cast into the lake of fire. And the Son of God shall walk with his elect above the firmament and shall shut up the devil, binding him with strong chains that cannot be loosed. At that time the sinners, weeping and mourning, shall say: O earth, swallow us up and cover us in death. And then shall the righteous shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. And he shall bring them before the throne of the invisible Father, saying: Behold, I and my children whom God hath given me. O righteous one, the world hath not known thee, but I have known thee in truth, because thou hast sent me. And then shall the Father answer his Son and say: My beloved Son, sit thou on my right hand until I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet, which have denied me and said: We are gods, and beside us there is none other god: which have slain thy prophets and persecuted thy righteous ones, and thou hast persecuted them even unto the outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
And then shall the Son of God sit on the right hand of his Father, and the Father shall command his angels, and they shall minister unto them (i.e. the righteous) and set them among the choirs of the angels, to clothe them with incorruptible garments, and shall give them crowns that fade not and seats that cannot be moved. And God shall be in the midst of them; and they shall not hunger nor thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them nor any heat. And God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes. And he shall reign with his holy Father, and of his kingdom there shall be no end for ever and ever.
Never in your long ascendancy will you lose the power to recognize your associates of former existences. Always, as you ascend inward in the scale of life, will you retain the ability to recognize and fraternize with the fellow beings of your previous and lower levels of experience. Each new translation or resurrection will add one more group of spirit beings to your vision range without in the least depriving you of the ability to recognize your friends and fellows of former estates.
Princess Bride 1987 Wallace Shawn (Vizzini) and Mandy Patinkin (Inigo Montoya)
Vizzini: HE DIDN'T FALL? INCONCEIVABLE.
Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
And here is mystery: The more closely man approaches God through love, the greater the reality -- actuality -- of that man. The more man withdraws from God, the more nearly he approaches nonreality -- cessation of existence. When man consecrates his will to the doing of the Father's will, when man gives God all that he has, then does God make that man more than he is.
"And do you not remember that I said to you once before that, if you had your spiritual eyes anointed, you would then see the heavens opened and behold the angels of God ascending and descending? It is by the ministry of the angels that one world may be kept in touch with other worlds, for have I not repeatedly told you that I have other sheep not of this fold?"
But we know that there dwells within the human mind a fragment of God, and that there sojourns with the human soul the Spirit of Truth; and we further know that these spirit forces conspire to enable material man to grasp the reality of spiritual values and to comprehend the philosophy of universe meanings. But even more certainly we know that these spirits of the Divine Presence are able to assist man in the spiritual appropriation of all truth contributory to the enhancement of the ever-progressing reality of personal religious experience—God-consciousness.
When you are through down here, when your course has been run in temporary form on earth, when your trial trip in the flesh is finished, when the dust that composes the mortal tabernacle "returns to the earth whence it came"; then, it is revealed, the indwelling "Spirit shall return to God who gave it." There sojourns within each moral being of this planet a fragment of God, a part and parcel of divinity. It is not yet yours by right of possession, but it is designedly intended to be one with you if you survive the mortal existence.
And the greatest of all the unfathomable mysteries of God is the phenomenon of the divine indwelling of mortal minds. The manner in which the Universal Father sojourns with the creatures of time is the most profound of all universe mysteries; the divine presence in the mind of man is the mystery of mysteries.
To every spirit being and to every mortal creature in every sphere and on every world of the universe of universes, the Universal Father reveals all of his gracious and divine self that can be discerned or comprehended by such spirit beings and by such mortal creatures. God is no respecter of persons, either spiritual or material. The divine presence which any child of the universe enjoys at any given moment is limited only by the capacity of such a creature to receive and to discern the spirit actualities of the supermaterial world.
Paradise is the eternal center of the universe of universes and the abiding place of the Universal Father, the Eternal Son, the Infinite Spirit, and their divine co-ordinates and associates. This central Isle is the most gigantic organized body of cosmic reality in all the master universe. Paradise is a material sphere as well as a spiritual abode. All of the intelligent creation of the Universal Father is domiciled on material abodes; hence must the absolute controlling center also be material, literal. And again it should be reiterated that spirit things and spiritual beings are real.
Culture presupposes quality of mind; culture cannot be enhanced unless mind is elevated. Superior intellect will seek a noble culture and find some way to attain such a goal. Inferior minds will spurn the highest culture even when presented to them ready-made.
True liberty is the associate of genuine self-respect; false liberty is the consort of self-admiration. True liberty is the fruit of self-control; false liberty, the assumption of self-assertion. Self-control leads to altruistic service; self-admiration tends towards the exploitation of others for the selfish aggrandizement of such a mistaken individual as is willing to sacrifice righteous attainment for the sake of possessing unjust power over his fellow beings.
How dare the self-willed creature encroach upon the rights of his fellows in the name of personal liberty when the Supreme Rulers of the universe stand back in merciful respect for these prerogatives of will and potentials of personality! No being, in the exercise of his supposed personal liberty, has a right to deprive any other being of those privileges of existence conferred by the Creators and duly respected by all their loyal associates, subordinates, and subjects.
There is no error greater than that species of self-deception which leads intelligent beings to crave the exercise of power over other beings for the purpose of depriving these persons of their natural liberties. The golden rule of human fairness cries out against all such fraud, unfairness, selfishness, and unrighteousness.